Answers to the ?’s posted in this post’s “Comments”
-BERLIN, so FUNNY you should mention that in your comment, our house actually has a hidden room, very mysterious and according to our location in this state quite possibly used to store illegal liquor!
-I borrowed a corny little Walgreens greenhouse and set it up in my front porch last year.  It sure was ugly but worked well to start veggies.  And yes, I did spread my tomato seeds out on a paper towel in a Corning wear dish and spritzed them with a water bottle ’til they sprouted.  I had a vintage lamp in there with a nice hot bulb.  (That’s pretty much the way I do everything – jerryrigged!  Somehow I manage to pull stuff off!)  I would try to leave it on at night when fear of burning the house down didn’t grip me as I fell asleep.  This year I have an even cornier idea of plasticing off some windows in the kitchen…post coming I am sure.
-This house is about 150 years old and I am assuming the brick room where we have our “gym” was the canning cellar.  Though I have plans for a pantry/cellar down there in a different area for now I use these awful white closet organizer cubbies stacked on each other, I nail my onions to the ceiling rafters each knotted off in panty hose…my pitiful wine collection lives on these shelves too (post coming).  And yes, I’ve had the fear of poisoning my family too – I end up adding WAY extra lemon juice to a lot of my canned goods because of it!!!

Pink Princess and her Trader Joe’s Balloon!
Yesterday, thanks to a very caring family member I was able to hit Randall Road and stock my fridge and pantry in a way I have not been able to in a long time. The economy is affecting all of us differently; some are trimming down on vacations and extra trips to the mall and others are wondering if there will be enough grocery money this week! We have been falling into the latter category but this too shall pass and God continues to provide for us!

It was wonderful to be able to go to Costco and load up on tubs of organic lettuce (for my obscenely large salads I am addicted to at lunchtime), carrots, strawberries and more and after that we were off to Trader Joe’s for Rice Milk, and rBST Free Dairy Products. We are so, beyond blessed in this country to be able to walk into a store and pick from an abundance of food off the shelves but I am pining for my garden.

As wonderful as a full fridge is, I still hate buying something that I could have grown it myself. It’s not NEAR as much fun!  I dream of a day (that I firmly believe will come) when I can grow enough food to store year round, raise my own FREE RANGE hens for eggs and chicken stock, even raise a pig or two for loads of Nitrate and Nitrite free bacon and pork loins! I think I would even like to learn how to make a few different cheeses. How great it is going to be!

Last year we ate very, very well out of our little potager. We even picked 4 apples off our young apple trees. I was able to can pickles, tomato sauce, but still had to purchase my blueberries for jam…someday I will have rows of blueberry and raspberry bushes and a small orchard of apple trees from which to feed my little fruit bats…

I am pretty much a food Nazi. You’ll pardon the expression. There are no Little Debi snacks or Fruit Snacks and rarely (unless Gramms brings a treat) are there even Fishy Crackers in this house. (Most of all because my Blogger Butt would surely take over if there were! I could easily gorge myself on those tasty little oragne things!) If the kids get sugar they will get in in a homemade baked good or a small piece of dark chocolate. I do my best to purchase hormone free meat but it sure is difficult on a budget and I live so far from any store that sells it. Once at Meijers I asked if they had “Free Range” meat and the kid says, “Ugh, ugh, we have “Low Fat.” Aldi is a wondeful store for it’s prices but it is also what I like to call a “Partially Hydrogenated Nightmare.” As I try to feed the family as “close to the ground or animal” as possible the  Aldi deals on pre-made meals and mass produced meats are not for me. If I could let go of all my concerns about our food industry things would be a lot easier. But I am convinced that today’s health problems come from the fact that we do not eat like my Great Gramma did! Whenever I can I do my best to stick to these convictions.

We would be in big trouble if I did not grow my own food when I could. My little Fruit Bats are insatiable! Since 8am this morning (it’snow 11am) this house has consumed:
4 cups of blueberries
1 cup assorted berries
2 cups of yogurt
1/2 cup grape nuts
5 homemade scones
2 organic apples
5 Clementines
1 Cup organic baby carrots
Most of that was eaten by the kids! They are bottomless pits! Now, when I have my own farm someday I will be able to grow or make everything on that list except the flour for the scones and the Clementines.
Did you know you can even make your own Rice and Soy Milk? I hope to save for the maker soon – it’s about $150 but would save me hours in trips to the store for a product our family goes through like crazy!!!

Since the first 40 degree day; of which there has only been about 2.5 since, I have been planning and planning, considering my space (or lack thereof) and the efficiancy of my seed selections from last year…I have narrowed it down and have my Seed List for 2009 ready. Enough seed to provide my potager with daily cuttings of lettuce, tons of zucchini and piles of beans and hopefully enough to last me through next spring in my freezer and on my canning shelf. In fact, more than enough and that is the problem. It seems so frivilous to buy all these seeds knowing that I can’t use them all. Sometimes hundreds and thousands come in a packet and that is where you might come in. If you are considering a vegetable garden this year or do one every year and have not ordered or bought your seeds yet – how about considering buying half of my seeds?  Here is a little inspiration….

I have come up with my order and it’s going to be about $140 but I thought if there was a fellow “grower” in Blogland that I could share part of this with that would be great for each of us. So, my list is below and I am offering to split my seed order but not the price. For $50 plus UPS which will porobably be about $12 I will send you half of each of the packets listed below. If there are things on the list that you aren’t interested in simply pass them on, I don’t want to get carried away splitting the list up. If this idea is a bust then I will consider it.
I am ordering these seeds from Gourmet Seed dot com and have been thrilled with their products, many of which are untreated and Organic. They offer many hailing from Europe and centuries past…
Here goes–
Thai Basil
Blauhide Organic Purple Pole Beans
Bobis Nero Green Pole Beans
Saint Valery Yellow Pole Beans
Nantes Organic Carrots
Atomic Red Organic Carrots
Beth Alpha Cucumber
True Lemon Organic Cucumbers (Lemon color and shape)
Paris Pickling Cucumbers (Cornichon size)
Endive Rufflec
Mixed Small Grourds
Corn Salad (Lamb) Organic Lettuce
Bon Vivant Premium Lettuce
Centurion Romaine Mix
Mixed Red Leaf
Genovese Organic Basil
Violetto Dark Opal Basil
Lemon Balm
Cilantro Organic
Carentan Organic Leek
May Queen – European Gourment Butterhead
Orange Flesh Honey Dew Organic
Noir de Carmes Organic Melon
French Breakfast Radish
May Queen Petit Pois
Sweet Provence Sweet Peas
Giallo d’Asit Yellow Pepper
Rosso d’Asti Red Pepper
Purple Beauty Pepper
Baby Bell Mix
Pasilla Bajio
Early Jalepeno
Verde Chiaro d’Italia
Golden Summer Crookneck
Italian Red Cherry
Market Wonder
Tondian Maremmano

Whew! You’d think I have 100 acres!  Quelque jour!

I can’t wait to see Aidan walk out and proudly pluck a tomato and offer it to a passing neighbor! When he asks people, “You got beans?” and they respond, “No” just doesn’t understand. All he talks about is munching on handfulls of chives and tomatos. It’s gonna be 49 today…we are getting there!

I love it when the big box of seed arrives and I promise I will make your shipment just as exciting!!! So, calling all gardening. food growing bloggers…let me know if you’re in!

Vive les graines!  (Does that even make sense??)